Managing Perceived Stress Among College Students: The Roles of Social Support and Dysfunctional Coping


concerning this article should be addressed to Ruth Chu-Lien Chao, Counseling Psychology Program, Morgridge College of Education, University of Denver, 1999 East Evans Avenue, Denver, CO 80208 (e-mail:


The author examined the conditions (i.e., social support and dysfunctional coping) under which perceived stress predicted psychological well-being in 459 college students. Hierarchical regression analyses indicated a significant 2-way interaction (Perceived Stress × Social Support) and a significant 3-way interaction (Perceived Stress × Social Support × Dysfunctional Coping) predicting well-being. Low social support deteriorated the association between stress and well-being. Only the frequent use of dysfunctional coping exacerbated the association between stress and well-being across high and low social support. Implications for counseling college students are discussed.